Being Submerged is Where it All Changes
Since I last shared an update, God swept in miraculously and took us to a new hotel, where we have stayed for over a week. It was a cozy, cute place where God met with me often to prepare me for all that was ahead.
God showed me that the next leap of faith that He takes us into is going to confront so many of my fears, but He also promised to rescue us as our Champion Hero to save the day with undefeatable love.
He said that He would cause His love to flood out the dry areas where there was fear, so that I could be free of those worries and embrace the joy of living under His wings of Refuge.
Just as there are times when the only way to get through something is by a “leap of faith”, there are also times when the only way to get through to the life that God has promised is to walk through the fire of facing fears and being so insanely uncomfortable that it is painful to think about doing.
It is like going through the travail of labor to push out the baby that you have been wanting to hold more than anything else. It is a pivotal moment when God asks us to trust Him when He leads us through the dark valleys and places that we would rather not go.
Way before God started me on this faith living journey, He gave me an encounter of something that I would go through. He thrust me in the deepest waters and I went really deep down into the blue ocean.
I had to focus on the peace of God to get through it because it was so terrifying to go through. I was literally being delivered of all of my fears—all at once–in a monumental moment.
But then when I came back up to the surface, I was in my destined calling, and I was radiating in the fullness of what God had created me to do…and in His power as well.
It was a bitter-sweet thing, I had to walk through something terrifying in order to step into the dreams that God placed in my heart. On the other side of fears is where I needed to go, but I didn’t want to go through them. However, the only way to get there was through.
I have read that drowning feels like your lungs are on fire, and that is what this prophetic encounter was like. I was pushed into my deepest fears, and it was like giving birth to calming ocean jewels in the midst of the hot flames. None of my fears happened to me, but having to face them was quite painful.
Yet, just as gold must go through the fiery furnace to be refined, there are times when the only way to get to the destination of our dreams is to face our fears and the discomforts of walking through them. It is only then…that we know those fears are lies and not real.
That is exactly what God has been preparing me to do, and the thought of walking through it is the most painful part. It is the anticipation that hurts so much, as all the “what if’s” and worries flash before my mind.
Before God called me to take my kids and go to a hotel with only enough money to cover a few nights, the hardest and most painful part was the anticipation. I had spent hours weeping and begging not to go through it.
It was like my own night before going to the cross that was before me. However, there was no pain once I actually walked through it. In fact, it was like all the pain (fear) of doing it was all endured in preparation of dying to myself beforehand. You can read more about that whole journey on my Naked Wings book here: https://linktr.ee/dannetteward
I went from clinging for dear life to the carpet before we had to go, to waking up with complete peace when it was time to actually walk through it.
When I think about what I actually did now that it’s over, I am overwhelmed that I did something so bold and dangerous. It was only by the grace of God, because Lord knows that I am too chicken to do something like that naturally haha.
When God asks us to do something that is so terrifying, we actually only taste the pain when we travel through it ahead of time with worry in our minds. The mind is where the pain of it all comes and goes…
Once you finally surrender to whatever God is leading you into, the moment that you cross the Red Sea, there is no fear at all. In fact, you have so much peace and joy that it will make you laugh that you were ever scared at all.
The birth of your promise and destiny is only painful when you are surrendering to trust God and however it could go. One of my biggest flaws that I am working with God to correct is overthinking.
In fact, on Monday, I literally thought it was Tuesday because I was overthinking so much about what is coming that I went far ahead of God and skipped over a whole day in the natural, lol.
The easiest way to go through something that terrifies you is to not think at all. Just trust God and go. It is a real leap of faith in our heart. Walk with Him and stay behind Him every step of the way.
After panicking all day yesterday, God finally interrupted my frantic overthinking, and He said “Let Me take the lead”. It’s funny how something like surrendering control can be so hard to do.
I went into a whole different wrestling match just by going through the process of letting go of control and trusting that God knows best.
Learning to trust God and lay down my false sense of “self-protection” was a really hard thing to do. Yet God has been so kind, loving, and gracious. I really believe that He chose me to do this intense walk of seeing His miracles because I am so very flawed with weaknesses and in need of Jesus to save me every day.
That way I cannot take credit or be confident in my own strength, but I have had to learn to surrender all to trusting God for literally EVERYTHING.
Trust is where the fears fade away. Trust is where I can finally breathe when I am ten feet underwater and drowning from the anxieties of doing something that is terrifying to do.
The other thing that God told me yesterday was not to run from suffering, but to walk through where He leads and trust Him to be the protection that I needed. It is a little funny because my fairy tale dream all of my life was to have a Hero to rescue me and protect me from getting hurt.
But if I am not willing to expose myself to dangerous “seeming” places where God leads, then I am never allowing God to show me that kind of personal and deeply intimate love. We are safe not because of the absence of danger, but because of the presence of God.
God carried us on eagle’s wings to where we are, and I have to trust in His plan as we follow this path that He has taken us on.
There are some paths that God will lead us through where we will not want to go, but we have to trust God to be our Shepherd and to protect us like a little lamb. He only takes the sheep through the valley to reach the bigger pastures on the other side.
If I had not followed Jesus to that hotel, things would be so different. I would have never encountered so many priceless moments of seeing the miracles of God’s love. I would not be who I am at this moment. Realistically, I would probably not alive at all.
If I was alive, I would be living in a forest or sitting on the side of the road with no comfort or shelter to find rest. God saved us when I walked through that fear, and He never let anything hurt me or my kids.
As a matter of fact, He did so much better than I could have dreamed or imagined! God lavished us in so much comfort and God was so delicate and loving to meeting the sensitive needs of my children too.
When God asks us to follow Him into something terrifying or uncomfortable, I have learned first hand that when you finally walk it out, it is not bad at all. It is the place where you receive the desires of your heart and all of your dreams start to become tangible.
It is in the fire that you become who God has destined you to be, and all the fears attached to your destined calling are drowned out as you are fully and utterly submerged in the deepest love that you ever knew.
Always expect the best from God, even when you are trembling inside. He knows you, and He is so very gentle when you choose to trust Him with your life–-and the lives of those that matter to you.
So don’t be resistant to follow Jesus through the scary, dark, and fiery places–because that is where you receive the dreams that you have longed to come to pass. That is where you encounter love unlike anything else and where the intimacy of God is formed.
They are born in the fire, where God’s perfect love protects you from every fear and danger. It’s all about trust…and being willing to follow Jesus through the unique path that He has made for you. It is being submerged….really submerged…where it all changes.